The Mental Impact Of Vaginismus
Shaheen Khan

Shaheen Khan

Dec 20Vaginismus

The Mental Impact Of Vaginismus

When something enters a woman's vagina, such as a tampon or a penis, the muscles of her vagina squeeze or spasm. It might be somewhat irritating and quite painful. This condition is called vaginismus.

If on the entrance of penis or tampons inside the vagina, the muscles of vagina squeeze or spasm, that condition is known as Vaginismus. It can be somewhat irritating and quite painful

There are 2 types of vaginismus. Primary vaginismus occurs when a woman has discomfort when something enters her vagina, such as a penis (known as penetrative sex) or when she is unable to insert anything into her vagina. Lifelong vaginismus is another name for it.

Secondary vaginismus occurs when a woman has previously experienced painless intercourse but now finds it difficult or impossible. Acquired vaginismus is another name for it.

Symptoms of Vaginismus

  • Painful sex
  • Unable to insert a tampon
  • Fear of pain/ Anticipation of pain
  • Loss of sexual desire

These symptoms are involuntary, meaning a woman can’t control them without treatment.


Vaginismus Causes

The exact cause of this condition is unknown. It might be because of anxiety or fear of sexual intercourse. It can be due to trauma or bad experiences related to sex. There are even cases when the cause is never known. Growing up in a conservative environment, where women don’t receive proper sex education, or women are shamed for premarital sex can also result in vaginismus.

How can it impact your mental health?

The important step is to acknowledge that anyone can suffer from vaginismus and it's okay to seek help for it. Many of us are ashamed to admit to it, but it is a very common condition and can be treated. Our mind and body are connected, any stress on the mind gets reflected on your body. Vaginismus is a psychosomatic concern.

It can have the following effects on your mental health:

  • Low confidence: You may feel you are less of a woman as you can’t satisfy yourself or your partner. You may not feel desirable.
  • Affect your family life: Your partner may not know you have the condition and feel frustrated when denied sex. This can hamper your family life.
  • Depression: You may feel depressed and feel like no one understands you. Forcing yourself to have sex despite the pain can even be a traumatic experience.

What can be done?

You need to dive deep and find what is keeping you away from pleasurable penetrative sex. This cannot be done alone. You can consult specialists trained to treat vaginismus to help you in the healing journey.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Consult a gynaecologist: Figure out if your condition is caused due to any physiological reason. Infections may cause painful sex, please rule it out before proceeding further.
  • Join for therapy: Be it a group session or by yourself, getting help is important. This is the most difficult task, once you find a counsellor or psychologist you are comfortable with, you are ready to take the next challenge.
  • Find the cause of your anxiety: What is keeping you away from having a healthy sexual life? History of sexual abuse or difficulties from a past relationship may be still affecting you. . If you come from a conservative family, lack of information about sex can also be a reason why you are afraid of sex and intimacy. Open up to your therapist and unravel the reason.
  • Pelvic floor muscle strengthening: Seek the aid of pelvic floor experts and do exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This can help in loosening the muscles and improve your chances of having a healthy sexual life. Keep your partner in the loop: Discuss your problem with your partner and include them in your session. This will help them understand what you are going through. An empathetic partner can do wonders for your sexual life. Be open to communication and take little steps.
  • Remove the stigma related to sex and sexuality: Throw away the deep-seated negativity about sex and sexuality. Understand that sex is a natural way of life and an essential one too.
  • Use of dilators: When your doctor recommends using dilators to test the waters before penetrative sex. Dilators can help your vagina spasm less with each trial. This will make you feel comfortable later.
  • Take small steps: Start trying to have sex with an open mind. Don’t rush in but take things slow. Enjoy the process and each other.

The Final Line

Understand that you are not to blame and you are never alone. Vaginismus if left untreated robes you of more than sex, it robes your self-worth, happiness and perhaps conceiving a child. It’s never too late to take charge of your life and enjoy what you deserve.

Disclaimer: This information is educational and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any dietary changes or adding supplements.

Proactive For Her is a digital clinic for women, offering accessible, personalised, and confidential healthcare solutions. We offer out-patient care, diagnostic services and programs for various health concerns of Indian women, across their lifetime - from puberty to pregnancy to menopause.